The Second Step in Returning to Sex: Learning Empathy
As we discussed in our last blog, one of the first steps toward building healthy, lasting romantic relationships is to begin with self-care and self-acknowledgement. Once you are able to connect with and know yourself, you’ll be able to start connecting with others.
One of the first skills to work on in your relationships — romantic or not — is empathy. This is understanding the other person’s emotions, and, eventually, anticipating those feelings. To do this, you’ll use your own emotional ability to recognize another person’s moods.
Many sexual addicts are selfish when it comes to understanding other’s emotions. Addicts wanted to do what felt good to them, regardless of how it might make your partner feel. You knew that whatever you were doing — using dating apps, watching unhealthy amounts of porn or having affairs — would hurt your partner, but you did it anyway, in secret.
Showing empathy in your relationship helps you anticipate your partner’s needs. Even as you stay in tune with your own feelings and needs, like we discussed in the last blog, your next step toward intimacy is developing empathy.
This will also be a big part of the recovery process. For those of you in relationships, you need to understand how and why you hurt your partner to start building a healthier future.
Next month, we’ll continue discussing how to lay the groundwork toward health relationships, as well as troubleshooting common problems.
In the meantime, if you have questions or would like to begin the recovery process, contact our professional team.